Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft/Frank Ebert

Broadcasting House

In 1989 the broadcaster Radio Free Berlin (SFB) became a voice of the Peaceful Revolution in East Germany. SFB reported on the events of the revolution and the fall of the Wall more than any other broadcaster. On 9 November, the SFB television news programme Abendschau was one of the first to report the upcoming opening of the border. 

Up until 1989, there were no free media in East Germany. The communist party decided what was broadcast and how. West German radio and television channels, which could be received almost all over the GDR, therefore became the most important information source for the East Germans. 

Ever since its foundation in 1954, the SFB accompanied the development in the GDR with critical items, reporting on injustice and subjects that were taboo in the East. It also maintained a link between the Berliners on either side of the Wall. 

The television magazine programme Kontraste played an outstanding role in reporting on the GDR during the 1980s. Courageous East German opposition activists put themselves at great risk to prepare films, sound recordings, photos and texts about the situation in the GDR. Couriers smuggled these documents to West Berlin and Kontraste showed them on national television. Information on the real state of the GDR thus reached homes in East and West uncensored. 

The GDR opposition activist Siegbert Schefke filming material on inner city decay in East Germany, which was shown in Kontraste in 1989.
Quelle: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft/Aram Radomski
zum Seitenanfang